Lenten Reading Notes

The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo Batoni

7 Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn: Secret Four- Confession is Never Really Private

  • Every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him.
  • However, the priest does not act on his own. He is acting in persona Christi-in the person of Christ.
  • Christ to St. Faustina: “When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul.” Also, “You make your confession before me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.”
  • Christ is never alone. Wherever Christ is, the Father is and the Holy Spirit is, because the three person of the Trinity cannot be separated.
  • The Trinity is not three Gods, but one God in three persons.
  • If our hearts are right, who we receive through the priest in the confessional is who we receive at Communion-the Triune God.
  • The shepherd who left the 99 sheep to find the lost one, the woman who searched diligently for her lost coin and found it, the father who received his prodigal son, all rejoiced and called their friends and neighbors to celebrate with them.
  • God the Father does not rejoice alone when a sinner repents. Along with the Son and the Holy Spirit, He rejoices with the angels and saints in heaven.
  • Sin is a personal act with personal consequences. We do not exist in a vacuum. We are all connected to each other. Every action not matter how small has a positive or negative effect on the universe. Think: ripple effect when a stone is thrown into a quiet pond.
  • When we reject God through sin, we are also rejecting each other.
  • Confession restores and heals the bonds with others.
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